Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike accepted a proposal by the IOC President today for a four-party working group to review costs for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Koike, who took office in August, agreed on the four-party talks, which will involve the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the Japanese Government.
The IOC President Bach said he was “fully committed to having Games in a sustainable and feasible way” and he was sure that “significant savings” could be made on the figures contained in an interim report by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Such savings would come on top of the USD 1.8 billion savings already made.
In looking for savings, the IOC President reminded the Governor not to forget two key principles – he reminded her that the “heart and soul of the Olympic Games is the athletes and that their experience must be respected, with athletes able to come together in one place.” Secondly, he reminded the Governor of the initial terms on which Tokyo won the hosting rights for the 2020 Olympic Games.
“What we also have to respect is the fair competition in which Tokyo won the rights to host the Olympic Games three years ago,” Bach said. “Tokyo and Japan won because they presented a very convincing project.”
“I think it's in the interests of Japan, the IOC and Tokyo that we do not change the rules of the competition after the election because we all know that the Japanese people and people of Tokyo are reliable partners who are delivering on their commitment,” he said.
Accepting the proposal for a four-way working group, the Governor stressed the need for all parties to work together and to “make maximum efforts to deliver sustainable Olympic Games as described in Olympic Agenda 2020”. A still-to-be-finalised report commissioned by Governor Koike stated last month that the cost of organising the 2020 Tokyo Games could greatly increase compared to the initial budget.
Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020, John Coates, commenting on the numbers in the report said: “That’s certainly a figure that seems very large to us. We are very confident that we can work with the Governor; we can work with the Tokyo Organising Committee and the national government. With our experience, we can reduce those figures,” Coates said.
President Bach urged the Governor to finalise the report, which she said could be ready next month, so that the working group could start immediately. He told her that “we are ready as soon as you are ready.”
After meeting the Tokyo Governor, the President then went on to meetings with Hirokazu Matsuno, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports Science and Technology, and the Olympic and Paralympic Minister, Tamayo Marukawa. Both Ministers stressed the need for all parties to work together for sustainable and ultimately successful Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.